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Center for Technology in Government and NYS Office of Cyber Security Partner to Identify Broadband Access at Community Anchor Institutions

The Center for Technology in Government (CTG) at the University at Albany is partnering with the NYS Office of Cyber Security (OCS), Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Services, to develop a comprehensive map of broadband Internet availability throughout New York State.  The project is part of a federally funded initiative to map broadband access and analyze adoption throughout New York State. Together, CTG and OCS are gathering data about broadband services at Community Anchor Institutions (CAIs), which are places where citizens who lack broadband at home can utilize the Internet or where a broadband connection is critical to public service provided by that institution.

Libraries are one of the places where citizens without broadband access at home can use the Internet.

Libraries are among the places where citizens without broadband access at home can access the Internet.

Examples of CAIs include:

  • Libraries
  • Schools and colleges
  • Hospitals
  • Municipal halls
  • Police stations
  • Fire stations

“Community Anchor Institutions are essential for delivering important services to communities throughout New York State,” said Donna Canestraro, Program Manager for CTG.  “By gathering data on these institutions, the State will have better information about broadband use by public entities, as well as availability for those without broadband access.”

“The Internet has become an essential component in almost all sectors of New York State’s economy and in the lives of our citizens,” said Thomas D. Smith, Director of NYS Office of Cyber Security.  “Identifying those public institutions that do not have adequate Internet service is a critical first step in promoting greater access for all.”

In today’s economy, broadband is a critically important tool for job seekers.  This project has already resulted in a map of low broadband adoption indicators, which can guide policy makers in targeting digital literacy programs to areas most in need.

This project is part of a five-year national broadband data gathering and mapping program funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and administered by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).

In the first phase, CTG and OCS obtained citizen engagement by asking New York State residents to take the broadband speed test from their home computers.  The data was used to verify the accuracy of the information collected by broadband providers and is currently displayed on the NYS Broadband Map.

Community Anchor Institutions will work with CTG and OCS to identify their current Internet service provider, technology used to deliver the service, and speeds associated with their service agreement.  That data will be used to identify current broadband availability in communities, as well as the level of service, and the need for greater build-out.  

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